Naloxone Prescriptions Double, High-dose Opioid Prescriptions Fall
Prescriptions for naloxone, a medication that has the life-saving ability to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, increased 106% from 2017 to 2018, while high-dose opioid prescriptions over the same time period declined, from 48 million to 38 million, a decrease of 21%. Many states allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. CDC's Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain - United States, 2016 recommend co-prescribing naloxone to patients who are prescribed high opioid dosages.
Both developments are positive signs that efforts to stem opioid distribution through pharmacies are having a dramatic impact, perhaps driven by initiatives like that of the Surgeon General's Facing Addiction in America.